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How I Fell For Hoi An

Hoi An

 

In an instant alleys and buildings, bridges and rivers, merged into a black canvas until the soft glow of candlelit lanterns began to illuminate their surroundings.

 

Hoi An

 

I made laps around Hoi An’s Old Town in search of a hotel for nearly an hour when every light was replaced by an encompassing darkness as the town paid homage to the full moon.

 

hoi an full moon

 

Children lined the bridge selling colorful lit paper lotuses. Tourists released the precious parcels along the dark river.

 

Vietnam banana pancakes

 

Women grilled cakes made of sweet potato and grated coconut over an open flame. Banana pancakes were submerged into deep vats of golden oil.

 

Hoi An

 

Despite the bustle the sound of silence rang as soft as a town blanketed in a fresh sheet of snow. At least for a moment.

 

Hoi An

 

Lights returned, traffic commenced, tourists dined and I took my first scan of the reason why I was still in Vietnam.

 

Hoi An

 

My trip had not gone well thus far and I seriously considered fleeing to Thailand, Laos, really anywhere with a direct flight from Hanoi.

 

Hoi An

 

However my desire to see Hoi An, and likely my extreme stubbornness, sent me on the overnight train headed south against the typhoon instead.

 

Hoi An

 

Hoi An’s perfect facade stirred the skeptic in me.

 

Hoi An

 

Was this town guised with charm the ultimate tourist trap?

 

Hoi An

 

Shops lined every street and “you buy something” are the words I heard most.

 

Hoi An

 

Westerners filled restaurants that served overpriced pizza with a side of Vietnamese.

 

Hoi An

 

Unkempt expats passed out fliers advertising empty clubs blasting Pit Bull across the river.

 

Hoi An

 

But before long Hoi An found its way into my apprehensive heart.

 

Hoi An

 

Because for the first time since I arrived in Vietnam

 

Hoi An

 

I saw beauty everywhere I looked.

 

Hoi An

 

I saw a world that had not been devastated by war

 

Hoi An

 

with old houses washed in yellow on picturesque alleys

 

Hoi An

 

preserved pagodas painted in bright hues

 

Hoi An

 

and wooden boats rocking gently beside a lantern covered bridge.

 

Hoi An

 

I dined on local specialties

 

Hoi An

 

shrimp dumplings pinched into a perfect white rose

 

Hoi An cau lau

 

hand cut noodles steamed in spices in hidden courtyards

 

Hoi An

 

crispy pancakes wrapped in rice paper smothered with fresh herbs

 

Hoi An

 

I dined in local markets

 

Hoi An

 

darling restaurants

 

Hoi An

 

or from a plastic chair on the street.

 

Hoi An

 

I chatted with the tailors

 

Hoi An

 

touched trinkets

 

Hoi An

 

and window shopped.

 

Hoi An

 

Sat in silence in traditional teahouses

 

Hoi An

 

paid my respects to temples

 

Hoi An dance

 

witnessed traditional music and dance.

 

An Hoi peninsula

 

I escaped to an island with the old way of life

 

An Hoi peninsula

 

where artisans and craftsmen

 

An Hoi peninsula

 

make rice paper for spring rolls

 

An Hoi peninsula

 

carve elaborate decorative sculptures

 

An Hoi peninsula

 

and repair classic wooden boats.

 

An Bang Beach

 

I rode my bicycle through rice fields

 

An Bang Beach

 

passing sheep, cows, and water buffalo

 

An Bang Beach

 

to an endless golden sand beach

 

An Bang Beach

 

with fishermen and distant islands

 

An Bang

 

there with the sound of the surf

 

An Bang Beach

 

I felt complete.

 

Hoi An

 

All this beauty  I discovered

 

Hoi An

 

though stunning still could not hold a candle to

 

Hoi An Free Bicycle Tour

 

the people I met on the journey

 

Hoi An spa

 

whose love, generosity, and kindness

 

Reaching Out Tea House

 

radiated more brilliantly

 

hoi an lanterns

 

than the hundreds of lanterns

 

hoi an lanterns

 

that light Hoi An each night.

 

 

 

How to Get to Hoi An

 

This American Girl

 

Fly

Flights to nearby Danang run daily from Saigon and Hanoi and last about an hour. Check out Air Asia and VietJet for deals starting at $20. Shuttles go nearly every hour between Danang and Hoi An, last 45 minutes, and cost around $5.

 

Train

Trains go several times per day all the way from Saigon or Hanoi. You can pick up in the trains at the popular stops along the way like Hue or Nha Trang. Many people claim the train ride from Hue to Hoi An is one of the most gorgeous rides in the country. Keep in mind the train station does not go to Hoi An, rather to Danang so you will need to arrange transport from there.

 

Bus

The Sinh Hop on Hop off bus connects Hoi An with Hue and Nha Trang. It’s about four hours from Hue and twelve from Nha Trang. Many people complain about the safety and comfort of these sleeping buses, but I had a blast laying out on the bed-like seat and staring out the window for the short trip from Hue.

 

Motorbike

Plenty of shops in Hue rent motorbikes for those who want to take the gorgeous highway that leads to Hoi An. If you don’t feel so bold, there are also tour operators who will take you on the back of their bike. As with any tour in Vietnam, do your research and go with a company that is well rated on Trip Advisor.

 

 

Where to Stay in Hoi An

 

Hoi An

 

Accommodations in Hoi An are more expensive than many other parts of Vietnam. There are many beautiful resorts at the nearby beaches if you’re looking to splurge. Budget options tend to lie between the Old Town and the beach.

 

Sunflower Hotel

$9 for dorm, $20 for private includes a huge buffet breakfast

The Sunflower Hotel is the only place in Hoi An with dorm beds, a must for budget solo travelers. I shared a private room here with my lovely friend Lisa from Amsterdam. This hotel has a backpacker scene with free computer use, a swimming pool, and a huge breakfast that includes made to order eggs, stir fries, salads, fruit, and fresh juice.

 

Anatara Hoi An Resort

$170 for a double room with breakfast

The location of Anatara Hoi An Resort could not be more ideal. It is on a small, beautiful street in the Old Town close to shops, spas, tailors, restaurants, and cafes. The grounds have a tropical setting with a swimming pool. If you prefer being in town rather than on the beach, this is the place to splurge.

 

Ha An Hotel

$75 for a double room with breakfast

The Ha An Hotel is located right next to the Anatara Hoi An Resort, but at a much lower price point. They offer free bicycle rentals, great if you want to explore the nearby beaches, and have outdoor areas for relaxing for a drink in the evening or enjoying the buffet breakfast.

 

An Bang Seaside Village Homestay

Beach cabins start at $50

If you prefer to be at the sea than in the town, An Bang Seaside Village Homestay is the place to be. It’s next to a secluded strip of beach but a short walk over the lovely beachfront bar and restaurant Le Banyan. The cabins feel more like a home than a hotel as each is detached and has a private terrace. If you’re a family or traveling with a group the larger villas are a great deal and come equipped with outdoor kitchens. If you plan to stay in Hoi An for more than a few days I highly recommend this option.

 

 

Where to Eat in Hoi An

 

Hoi An cuisine

 

Hoi An has some of the best food in the entire country with tons of local specialties and hundreds of restaurants that cater to locals and tourists. Here are a few of my favorite places to eat, though with so many to choose from I’m sure there are many gems not on this list.

 

On the Street

Like the rest of Vietnam, street food is everywhere. Follow your nose and look for places that are busy with locals. The classic dishes here include cau lau (special rice noodles cooked with broth, sliced pork, fresh herbs, and crispy rice crackers), white rose (steamed shrimp dumplings), com ga (rice fried with chicken, turmeric, and other spices), and bahn xeo (fried crispy pancake stuffed with shrimp and pork wrapped in rice paper with bean sprouts and herbs). The indoor street food market directly across from the outdoor fruit and vegetable market is a great place to sample all different street food. They have tons of local dishes for you to try in addition to what I’ve already listed like grilled pork spring rolls and chicken soup.

 

Mermaid

$2-10 for entrees

Mermaid was the first restaurant opened for tourists in Hoi An by the famous Ms. Vy. Its interior may be simple but the food is outstanding and less expensive than her other restaurants. The menu has pages of classic dishes but my favorite include the prawns served in a young coconut, the crispy won tons stuffed with shrimp and topped with tomatoes and crab, and the green papaya salad.

 

Mrs Dung’s

$1-5 for entrees

This simple eatery across the bridge next to the night market has excellent local food and an incredibly sweet staff. The fried shrimp spring rolls were probably the best I’ve had in Vietnam and the seafood we had here was inexpensive and delicious.

 

Blue Dragon

$2-10 for entrees

Blue Dragon has a lively atmosphere at night with outdoor seating and the best fish steamed in banana leaf. My other favorite dishes were the fresh shrimp spring rolls and the eggplant cooked in claypot.

 

Cargo Café

$1-$8 for pastries, salads, and sandwiches

If you’re craving something Western, Cargo Cafe has an excellent selection of international salads, sandwiches, and pastries. They even had a beet salad and multigrain bread.

 

Morning Glory

$5-$15 for entrees

Ms. Vy’s most famous restaurant, Morning Glory is the place to eat local dishes prepared by the master. The setting is beautiful and upscale and serves local specialties like the famous white rose. They also offer cooking classes daily.

 

Ganesh

$3-$5 for entrees

It may not be Vietnamese, but Ganesh serves some of the best food in Hoi An. In fact, they cook some of the best Indian food I’ve ever tasted. Break your diet and gorge on the crispy naan with buttery curries and fried samosas. Can you tell I’m craving this right now?

 

Karma Waters

$2-$5 for entrees, $3 for fresh juice

Wherever I go I make sure to find at least one healthy restaurant where I can detox from all my culinary adventures. Karma Waters strives to be as organic as possible, uses no MSG or sugar, and has a 100% vegan menu. I drank their carrot, apple, ginger juice daily. They have an excellent selection of salads to make you feel cleansed and ready for some fried spring rolls. They are also the only place I found in Hoi An that will refill your plastic water bottle.

 

Le Banyan

$5-$15 for entrees

Le Banyan is the place to be when you’re at An Bang beach. The staff is incredibly friendly, they play great music, and its one of the few places I’ve found in Vietnam where you can meet expats. The have a big selection of salads and they even serve French wine. Come on Saturday nights when the bar becomes a disco with international DJs drowning out the sound of the waves.

 

 

Where to Drink in Hoi An

 

Reaching Out Teahouse

 

Reaching Out Tea House

$2-3 for a pot of tea, $3 for a cookie sampler for two

This is hands down one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the honor of frequenting. Reaching Out originally began as a workshop selling handmade Vietnamese earthenware in the style of Hue. From the shop they developed a tea house which serves their drinks and snacks on the special handcrafted dishes they make. The entire staff is speech and hearing impaired and have created an unbelievably beautiful space of silence. Go here, go here, seriously go here. Afterwards you can visit their shop and take the experience home with you.

 

Mia Coffee

$1-3 for tea, coffee, and smoothies

Mia Coffee became my “office” during my time in Hoi An. The breezy space, wrap around porch, expat scene, European cappuccinos, and friendly staff made me feel right at home. They also had no problem with me hanging out for hours on my laptop. Come for espresso or a smoothie and sit and watch the world go by.

 

Meet Market

$2 for cocktails

You might laugh at the name but Meet Market has a fun traveller scene and live music. It’s located on the main strip across the bridge along the river. Sit outside, enjoy two for one gin and tonics, do some people watching, and mingle.

 

On a Boat

$2 for cocktails

Albeit touristy, sipping on a cocktail aboard a boat docked on the river is a wonderfully atmospheric experience. They have twinkling lights and live music and make for a romantic experience or a silly girls’ night out.

 

 

Where to Shop in Hoi An

 

Hoi An shopping

 

Tailor Shops

Hoi An is famous for its many tailor shops, and believe me they are everywhere. These tailors can make basically anything within a day tailored to your body. Be aware that they are not designers. Your best bet is to come in with an actual piece of clothing you want replicated and bring your own fabric as well. The quality of work can vary, I’d recommend starting with one inexpensive piece and deciding whether to proceed with that shop. I had leather shoes made for $10. Time will tell if they fall apart but I loved the design and ahem, they cost $10.

 

The Outdoor Market

The market lining the river in Hoi An Old Town is a bustling scene of fish, herbs, fruit, bracelets, traveler pants, and kitchen supplies. It’s worth exploring for the photos if nothing else.

 

The O Collective

This new shop opened just a couple of months ago, but I could not be more excited about what it plans to bring to Hoi An. All of their products are sourced from Vietnam and are artfully displayed in this high end boutique. They sell beautiful clothing, cute souvenirs, and local liquors, coffee, and chocolate. The top floor will house a tasting room where patrons can sample local vietnamese cacao and coffee.

 

Ava’na

Avan’na brings high end fashion to Hoi An’s predictable tailoring scene. Owned by two expat friends with a fashion background, the clothing is stunning and very international. Each garment feels truly special. Beautiful silks and linen are imported from Nepal and crafted into luxurious garments. Even if you’re not in the market stop into the shop simply to see their incredible displays.

 

Gemstones Art Museum

The Gemstones Art Museum, affectionately called GAM, houses a collection of unique gemstones originating in Vietnam. Their boutique has beautifully designed pieces incorporating these gemstones for shockingly reasonable prices. Had my budget allowed I would have bought half of the things in there. They also have a lovely courtyard in the bar for cooling off with a drink.

 

Tra My Aroma House

A small local shop offering reasonably priced teas, a large selection of essential oils, and one of my dietary staples: goji berries.

 

Dingo Deli

If you are self catering in Hoi An this is an excellent place to purchase specialty items. I found unprocessed oats, local unsweetened farm yogurt, chia seeds, and other health food here. They also have deli sandwiches, cheese, wine, and brownies for a more decadent experience. If you’re interested in an extended stay in Hoi An, their website is an incredible resource for expats.

 

What to Do in Hoi An

 

an bang beach

 

Days in Hoi An can be spent simply wandering the streets, popping into history Old Houses and temples, and dining in lovely cafes and restaurants. However there are plenty of activities in and around Hoi An for a bit more excitement and culture.

 

An Bang Beach

As a self proclaimed beach bum, Hoi An’s proximity to long stretches of golden sand beach is a big reason why I stuck around for so long. My first day I rode my bicycle to Cua Dai beach, just a couple of miles from the Sunflower Hotel, but was turned off by the development and high concentration of hawkers. An Bang beach is a little further out on Hai Bai Trung road past town but the ride is scenic and the chill vibes are worth it. Read my post on An Bang Beach for more information.

 

Cham Islands

If you are in Hoi An during the dry season (February – September) there are some nearby islands with calm water for snorkeling and diving. The islands themselves are said to be beautiful, but don’t expect the diving to compare to places like Thailand and Indonesia.

 

Yoga

Hoi An Yoga offers Hatha, Yin, and Restorative classes nearly every day and occasionally beach yoga at An Bang. It’s a rare treat to find yoga, especially with this variety, in Vietnam. She also offers private classes and reiki sessions.

 

Hoi An Free Bicycle Tour

This completely free day tour of the An Hoi Peninsula on the Hoi An Free Bicycle Tour was one of my favorite experiences during my time in Hoi An. The organization is operated by University students in Danang who use the tour to both practice their English, which is excellent, and teach tourists about village life around Hoi An. We visited a family making rice paper and rice noodles, watched the men repair boats, learned about the amazing artisans and artists who work on the island, visited a family chapel, learned to make grass mats, and road our bicycle down scenic country roads. The guides are fun, friendly, and very knowledgeable.  Afterwards our tour guides, Tina and Sophie, took us to an authentic restaurant and taught us about local food. Hard to believe such a wonderful experience was free.

 

Morning Glory Cooking School

$27 for a trip to the market, cooking instruction, and enjoyment of four local dishes

Ms. Vy or her adept assistant teach you how to craft local Hoi An specialties. This is a delicious cultural experience to take home with you. Restaurants all over town offer lessons, but if you want the best head to Morning Glory.

 

My Son Cham Ruins

I did not make it to My Son, but these ancient ruins are even older than Ankor Wat. Unfortunately we (Americans) dropped bombs on their grandeur so the sight is not as impressive as it could be. Still I hear it is worth a trip!

 

Calla Lily Spa

My second day in Hoi An, walking down the street with huge piece of gauze taped to my leg, I stopped to ask a woman for directions. She asked if she could take a look at my leg. In no time she sent her brother to the pharmacy, cleaned and dressed my wound, and refused to accept payment for the supplies. Her name is Lily and she became a true friend during my time in Hoi An. If you find yourself in the area, pay her a visit at her spa Calla Lily, where I received the best massage of my life. The massage begins with a lemongrass foot soak and a cup of fresh tamarind juice. I can’t explain what happened during my massage, but afterwards I felt like a different person. The anxiety and tension I held onto since before I even arrived in Vietnam was gone. I think that’s the moment I let go and fell for Hoi An.

 


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Comments

  1. I’m so glad you found your way in Vietnam, after reading about the stream of unfortunate events that plagued your from the start of your journey (your honesty makes travel seem more daunting and more accessible at the same time, some how…) Thank you for providing such detailed information about where to stay/eat/drink/what to do. It really makes me want to visit!

    • This American Girl Says: November 8, 2013 at 4:10 am

      Definitely! It’s an awesome place, by far my favorite in Vietnam!

    • What a lovely homage and informative too!!!!

      Please do not be offended but I suggest that women dress more modestly in Vietnam. Studying up on how people dress and what their customs are shows attention to respect of the Culture you are going to engage with. American girl, I think you are a lovely woman and most likely did not know about dressing a bit more modestly. Not like a Nun!

      Following please find some good tips regarding manners and dress in Vietnam.

      “Vietnam’s culture demands that you observe certain strictures, although the Vietnamese are generally very forgiving of unintentional faux pas. Petty urban crime and military sensitivity aside, the Vietnamese are very welcoming to their visitors. Vietnamese hospitality will make you feel right at home, more so when you keep the following tips in mind.

      Dress conservatively wherever possible. The Vietnamese are generally modest about clothing, and look askance at visitors wearing far too little in public. Dress lightly if you must, but not overly so – avoid tops with plunging necklines, spaghetti-strap tops, and short shorts where possible.

      This goes double for visiting temples and pagodas – keep your arms and legs covered, and hide as much bare skin as you can. It’s extremely rude to go to such places while insufficiently dressed.

      Don’t show off; keep a low profile. Flaunting wealth is impolite; don’t look like an Ugly American with far too much gold and far too little sense. Don’t carry more money than you need when walking in public. Don’t wear too much jewelry. Not only is this good manners, you also reduce the risk of becoming the next victim of a drive-by bag snatcher.

      Don’t talk about the Vietnam War. Avoid talking about politics altogether. The Vietnamese have mixed feelings about the “American war”, and are understandably averse to bringing it up in the presence of American citizens.

      Don’t cause Vietnamese to “lose face”. The concept of “saving face” is extremely important in East Asian social relationships. Avoid behavior that causes embarrassment to another party, and hold back behavior that can be misconstrued as overly aggressive. Don’t force money on other parties. Don’t wheedle or insist. Most importantly, don’t lose your temper in public; try to be cool and collected whenever possible.

      Don’t be too camera-happy. Ask people’s permission before you take their picture – not all of them want their picture taken. This goes double for pictures in rural ethnic villages. This goes triple for military installations and equipment!”

      I think these tips are wonderfully concise and pretty much apply to ALL of the places that I have lived/visited in South East Asia.

      Mo Phat,

      Pema

    • Ashley Phelps Says: April 6, 2015 at 8:18 am

      Do you remember what street the tra my aroma house was on?

  2. Sounds like you’ve been very busy. You obviously have given great attention to detail. What better way to experience variety and diversity of the culture and customs of the world. Again, thanks for sharing. We always enjoy you sharing your observations, comparisons and discoveries along your journey…Have a GREAT and BLESSED DAY!!!

    • This American Girl Says: November 8, 2013 at 4:12 am

      Thank you for reading Mike. I’m in Bangkok now and have soooo much to still write about Vietnam! Expect to read lots more… :)

  3. I was in Vietnam last year at this time. I absolutely loved Hoi An. I was so magical and the food was amazing! Thanks for the gorgeous photos and stories. It really brought back memories.

  4. Oh my! Such a beautiful report you make, it’s really detailed! I wish to go right now buy a ticket for Vietnam, which must be a really charming country. Good luck on your travel! (i read also your beautiful post about your doubts and your aims between travelling or not, and i found that we’ve something in common, because me too i choose the path of the interior design. We’ve both a creative soul, after all. Have a good day! Cris

  5. Becca Roebber Says: November 12, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Hoi An was amazing and so is this travel blog. Safe travels and make sure you get to Chang Mai. Did you get to try any chocolate in Vietnam?

    • This American Girl Says: November 13, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Thank you so much!! I am in Chiang Mai now for the lantern festival. I did not try the chocolate in Vietnam unfortunately. The O Collective was the only place I found that had the local chocolate and they were not yet open for tastings. I did buy some pure cacao in the grocery store which had a very different taste from the Costa Rican cacao I’m used to. Much more mellow.

  6. What a great overview of one of my favoutite places in Vietnam. And glad you found o collective a great place for shopping. We have our product for sale there 😉

    http://www.amaisaigon.com

  7. […] But after struggling to communicate in Vietnam […]

  8. The ancient town of Hoi An, 30 km south of Danang, lies on the banks of the Thu Bon River. Occupied by early western traders, Hoi An was one of the major trading centers of Southeast Asia in the 16th century.
    Hoi An has a distinct Chinese atmosphere with low, tile-roofed houses and narrow streets; the original structure of some of these streets still remains almost intact. All the houses were made of rare wood, decorated with lacquered boards and panels engraved with Chinese characters. Pillars were also carved with ornamental designs.

    Tourists can visit the relics of the Sa Huynh and Cham cultures. They can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of the romantic Hoi An River, Cua Dai Beach, and Cham Island.

    Over the last few years, Hoi An has become a very popular tourist destination in Vietnam.

  9. Marysa dalton Says: June 15, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Just came across your blog from someone recommending it on trip advisor. We are heading there today and I can’t wait to try all your recommendations!

  10. Sinead Dowd Says: July 20, 2014 at 9:34 am

    I have just discovered your blog, its amazing!! Beautifully written, gorgeous photos and great info! I am currently travelling around SEA with my boyfriend, after a strange first few days in Hanoi I was feeling very hopeful for Hoi An after reading this.. And i was right! Even though we have only been here 1 day already we have met some of friendliest people we have met on our travels! Love it here! Also, finding it a bit difficult to eat well all of the time here so great to have your recommendations on places to go! Thank you!!

    • Camille Willemain Says: July 20, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      Thank you so much :) I too struggled in Vietnam, but absolutely fell in love with Hoi An. Enjoy and please go and visit my friend Lily at Callalily Spa, she’s just about the sweetest lady in the whole wide world!

  11. Sondra Jackson Says: October 24, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Hi,

    Thank you so much for sharing your travels. I am researching a country to retire to and I saw an episode of House Hunters International that featured Hoi An. I have been obsessed with learning more about it. I am yearning for a different way of life. I live in Los Angeles. I am planning a trip there within the next 2 years.

    Thanks again
    Sondra

  12. What a lovely post, this has reminded me how much I love Hoi An. You are absolutely right – it was so wonderful to see a town with beauty everywhere, unspoilt by years of war. Thanks for posting.

  13. We’ve been thinking about going to Vietnam recently as well as other countries in South East Asia. This post is a nice little starting point. I like how it is written. Very easy to read and interesting. I’ll search your blog for more on Vietnam

  14. Hi Camille,

    Thank you so much for sharing all of the experience with us. Hoi An is a great place for relaxing. I’m so in love with it. I did the same cooking class – Morning Glory cooking class. Yes, Ms. Vy is excellent with her work. The course at Morning Glory is professionally organised and includes a morning trip to the amazing food markets in Hoi An. Hoian’s cuisine is incredible. It keeps me busy eating and eating. I and my husband also joined a great food tour in Hoi An called Hoi An Food Tour with friendly and enthusiastic young ladies to enjoy the best street food and discover the city better. Now I keep thinking about my next trip to Hoi An.

  15. Great article in Hoi An. I love your photos.

    For cheat hotel, you have an Hoi Hotel. Cost: about 12 dollars.

    You try the restaurant Bale Well?

  16. I arrived last night & it is amazing & so perfectly captured in your photos & text. So beautiful we have alreadv added more days. I cant wait to explore today. Thankyou for your insight.

  17. Myself and three friends are heading to Hoi An tomorrow night. I am so happy I have found your blog post about all the ins and outs!! Can’t wait to try all of the recommended places and it has made me very excited to go :) thank you!!

  18. Heading to Hoi An on Monday.. You’ve made me much more excited haha. Thank you.

    • Camille Willemain Says: May 16, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Awesome!! Thanks, let me know how it goes, and please go visit my friend Lily at her spa! She is an amazing woman <3

  19. I’m heading to Vietnam in July and your post has made me all the more excited!! We’re thinking of spending 2 night in Bangkok, 4 nights in Chiang mai, 4 nights in Ho Chi Mihn and 5 nights in Hoi an. Do you think that’s a good plan or would you recommend spending more/less time in a certain place? Thanks so much x

    • Camille Willemain Says: May 29, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Olivia, awesome I’m excited for you!! I guess it depends on what you’re into as far as activities. Will you be flying from Chiang Mai to Ho Chi Minh? Personally I think 4 nights is a long time, and I much prefer Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh for the atmosphere, plus it’s close by Ha Long Bay.

  20. Awesome post! I also did the trip to Kimbong village with Hoi An free tour girls. Amazing that the girls i met as the same with your picture LOL :)). Wish i could find your blog before i came Hoian- Such a beautiful post, girl. We stayed at Anantara resort with kids for 4 wonderful nights. My kids loved Hoi An much more Hanoi, some activities on the beautiful town for whom are travelling with kids http://justgola.com/blog/top-8-things-to-do-with-kids-in-hoi-an-5

    • Camille Willemain Says: August 26, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      Ahhhhh that’s awesome!! They are SO sweet :) I’m glad to hear you had such a wonderful time, and thanks for sharing the post xx

  21. Great memories!
    I also feel in love with Hoi An… for more inspiration and tips, check out my blog: http://bonatravels.com/2015/08/25/walking-around-hoi-an-vietnams-jewel/

  22. Hi. I have to say your post is very interesting and informative. I love the pics and love your advice. Many thanks! :)

  23. Thong Wei Qi Says: September 8, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Hi! I love love your post! I was just reading up on Hoi An’s Lantern festivals, and I was worried the dates I’ve booked won’t coincide with it. But I read your post, seeing that the city is lit up every night?

    Also, is it expensive there? Food wise etc.

    • Camille Willemain Says: September 8, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      Yes, they light the lanterns every night :) It’s just on the full moon night that they turn out all of the lights. It’s more expensive than some places in Vietnam, but you can definitely find very affordable options.

  24. I enjoyed reading your blog. I will be in Hoi An by end of this August and thanks for some tips that you have shared here. Can I know where to approach for the Hoi An Free Bicycle Tour?

    Thank you.

  25. Bikash Deb Says: December 8, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Beautiful blog. I guess it will be of great help on my visit in Jan 2017.

  26. I loved reading this! Broiught back good memories of the place, especially the food! And your photographs are so beautiful, and full of colour that they tell a story in themselves.

  27. […] Hoi An […]